Nicknamed the “Gateway to the Costa Brava”, Blanes overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north-east of Barcelona. After being settled by the Romans, the area was conquered by the Goths, the Moors and the Christians, only to be largely destroyed during the Reapers' War in the mid-17th century.
Things to do in Blanes
Sprawling across 15 hectares east of Blanes is Marimurtra, a tranquil botanical garden planted with more than 4,000 different plant species. It was created by the German-born botanist Carl Faust on a clifftop and boasts magnificent views across the Mediterranean Sea. Climb the Epicurus stairs that lead to the Templet of Linne, one of several architectural monuments in the garden.
Stretching the length of the town is Platja de Blanes, a golden sweep of sand where you’ll find beach umbrellas and sun loungers for rent. Families should head to the enclosed Children’s Club, where supervised activities are organised for kids. Backing the beach is a seated statue of Carl Faust, as well as plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can refuel throughout the day.
If you want to stretch your legs, follow the Cami de Ronda, a coastal footpath that was originally established in the 19th century by the Carabineros. During the 1940s and 1950s, foodstuffs and tools were smuggled along the trail to meet supply needs in the wake of the Spanish Civil War. Today, the Cami de Ronda connects the Costa Brava’s hidden beaches and forms a section of the GR 92 long-distance footpath.
Getting around Blanes
Blanes is around 30 minutes’ drive from Mataro and one hour from Barcelona. Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport is an hour away and has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular buses connect to Blanes and travel throughout the town.